One of the most popular pastime in the Philippines is shopping and if you're a tourist, the shopping here will definitely not disappoint. Big shopping malls and flea markets abound in bustling Manila and it's neighbouring cities as well. Most Filipino families spend their weekend inside the shopping malls either to watch a movie, do some groceries, eat in a restaurant or just simply hang out since the malls in Manila are airconditioned and perfect for cooling down especially in a hot, tropical country like the Philippines. The biggest name in the mall industry is SM Supermalls followed by Robinson's Malls and then Ayala Malls.
Located in Pasay City and only a few minutes from the airport is SM Mall of Asia which is also considered as one of the biggest malls in Asia and third largest in the world by floor size. There are around 600 shops inside this enormous mall and also includes a variety of restaurants, olympic-sized skating rink, IMAX theater, cinemas and a hypermarket.
Other SM stores located in the metro and worth visiting for are SM Megamall in Ortigas, SM Manila which is near the famous walled city of Intramuros and SM North Edsa in Quezon City. For handicrafts and other local items which is also called Filipiniana, ask for the Kultura section which is a separate area for native items and can be found inside SM malls.
Malate is a popular location for budget inns and hotels specially for travelers. Only a walking distance within the hotels is Robinson's Place Manila. This mall has just been recently renovated for expansion and is also big like SM malls. Here you can also find local and international brand shops at affordable prices. Lots of dining and drinking options are available in this mall whether you're in a budget or want to splurge a bit.
For a bit more upmarket and famous international brands, the business district of Makati has lots to offer. Here, you can go to either or Glorietta or in Greenbelt which is just a stone's throw away from the former. Also in Makati is the Rockwell Powerplant Mall and in nearby Taguig is Bonifacio High Street.
The most popular market in Manila is Divisoria or 168, Here, you can find really cheap stuffs from clothing, toys, handicrafts, accessories and just about anything. Prepare your haggling skills and wear comfy clothes and shoes as you can get tired from all the walking and the crowded location. Quiapo is also a good place to go for cheap stuffs, especially electronics.
Lucky Chinatown Mall Reina Regente St. Brgy.293 Zone 28, Binondo, Manila 576-8139 www.facebook.com/LuckyChinatown.
Who would have thought having an upscale mall in the busy bargain area of Divisoria would be possible? Well, it is for Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, the developers of the newest shopping mall in Binondo which is Lucky Chinatown Mall. Opened just last year, this newest addition to the mainly dominant Chinese area in Binondo is just opposite the historic Binondo church and adjacent to popular bargain shops like 168 and 999 Mall. The 5 hectare Lucky Chinatown Mall has also five levels of parking area as well as five levels of shopping consisting of well-known retail shops, food establishments, a supermarket, and a state-of-the-art theater. A refreshing site in the always busy area of Divisoria, Lucky Chinatown Mall is definitely worth checking out.